18 September 2015

How much meat do I need for a year?

I don't think I blogged about this last year, but it's been an on going conversation with my Mom as to how I could make sure we're getting good quality meat and how much I should produce. Last year, around this time;I had ordered a quarter of a bison, a whole hog and a tenth of a bison for all ground meat later. We have not ate it all yet… 
I even gave some bison ground meat away for Christmas presents so people could try it out. 

So. many. pork chops. I’ve got the receipt for what I ordered last year and we are not going to order any more chops. We are ordering half a hog, a quarter of a bison and a lamb. 
We only have one upright freezer and the regular sized on on top of the fridge. 

Last year we had 170 lbs of bison(with both orders combined), and 278 lbs of pork. I slaughtered 3 chickens and 2 rabbits at maybe 5 lbs a piece? So, 15l bs of chicken and 10 lbs of rabbit?

But,  no deer meat. I really miss that. Although some people DH works with gave us a bag of venison burgers. I wish I could get some venison like I used to have access to back home. I think next year I’ll have to take up deer hunting. One deer would probably set us up just fine with everything else we have. 
I'd eventually like to raise my own pigs, but with what we are eating we'd only need one pig a year. I suppose I could raise 2 pigs every couple of years. 

2014 meat

170 lbs Bison
278 lbs Pork
  15 lbs Chicken
+10 lbs Rabbit
473 lbs of Meat

2015 meat (expected)

100 lbs Bison
160 lbs Pork
  60 lbs Lamb
  30 lbs Chicken
+50 lbs Rabbit
400 lbs of Meat

Hmm, after looking at it like this I might harvest less rabbits than I thought. I don't harvest that many rabbits right now because I'm still working on my breeding stock  getting regulated. I am phasing out the dutch rabbits. I sold 6 of them, enough to buy a few bags of food. Then I had another litter, 3 more little rabbits... I have 5 left. So, I guess I'll eat the other 4. One of them I'm not sure I could bear to eat. She's almost like a mascot to me now. 

Per my Mom's suggestion I tried to get it around 356 lbs. On the premise that you will have 1 lb. of meat per day. For our household that's a 1/2 lb. a person. Some days we have company and eat more, for example a roast. And some days we don't eat any at all, when we go out or have salad. I went over last year, by a lot. It’s really hard to estimate that when you have to order by the half or quarter. I don’t know how large the animal is to begin with…so half of a 300 lb hog is 150 lbs, but what if the hog is only 190 lbs? But seeing the numbers in black and white from last year will help me going forward. It created a baseline for us to work with. I think I did ask for a smaller one this year. So, we’ll see how that goes. I am excited to try out the lamb this year. We like to try something new every year. 
I’m trying luffa plants and lamb this year. HA HA, I just noticed that they both begin with the letter ‘L’.
(This blog post is brought to you by the letter 'L' and the number '2'.)

We ate maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of it? I have been buying hot dogs at the store this past year, and some sliced meats, but not too much. This year I’m going to get more brats done and see what my options are for sausages. Since we’re going to eat them anyways I need to get them with the meat that I’m buying. Plus, no nasty additives in these. I’ve found that I don’t buy too much meat at the store. Oh, and I bought a few bags of shrimp. They weren’t as good as the fresh ones back home…but what did I expect? HA HA. I miss the seafood too. Not sure how I can deal with that. Maybe I can barter with a fisherman? I really hate fishing. I fall asleep or run up and down the river bank or if I'm in a boat I just jump in cause it's so hot. 

Anyways. I’m still working on getting this down. I know last year we spent about a thousand dollars on meat. But, that’s not too bad really. That's a bit less than $84 a month. Not too bad for all the bacon, steaks and ham we can eat.

If I could do that each year and grow (almost) everything we need from the garden we’d be doing really well. Then I’d just need to figure out the grain situation. 
I’ve found that buying potatoes at the source helps a lot too. $5 for 50 lbs. They last a pretty long time. 

I do this because I want to be able to regulate the chemicals and antibiotics that are in our meat and food sources. 

As of now, we have fresh eggs, rabbit, chicken and veggies on our homestead. And I buy the pork, bison and lamb from a neighbor. Literally, down our street. 
Let me know what you think, are you doing anything to be more self sufficient or community sufficient? 

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